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Absinthe and Aerialists at the Edison

By Jeannine Denholm
Published: Monday, May 12, 2008, at 04:13PM
Lucent Dossier at the Edison [Flickr]

Lucent Dossier show on the main stage at the Edison

Just when you think the Downtown bar scene might be getting a little predictable, in comes the Edison to shake up the middle of your week.

Enter Lucent Dossier, a type of vaudeville circus, a few absinthe cocktails and half naked aerialists and suddenly Wednesday is a whole lot more exciting.

I've always loved the Edison but stopped going when the lines became obnoxious and seating a bit hard to find. But when I got an invite to the Edison's Incandescence evening that described the night as a chance to experience "The Alchemy of Absinthe, Sensual Vaudeville and Aerial Sprites," how could I refuse?

First off, I've had absinthe before and wasn't really interested in seeing how difficult I could make my Thursday morning if I knocked back a few, so I stuck to a simple champagne cocktail. For those interested, my friends seemed to like the special absinthe cocktails that night, especially the mini cocktails that came in small vintage corked bottles.

The atmosphere is electric (no pun intended) and the show actually begins even before you walk in the door. All the doormen and hostesses are decked out in fun period costumes that range from beautiful 1920's flapper dresses to a shockingly bright yellow zoot suit.

Entertaining outfits weren't limited to the staff. There were all kinds of people dressed up in fabulous goth-like get ups mingling amongst the typical Edison customers.

Just when you get used to all the people watching -- the lights grow dim. A spotlight shines in the middle of the space and a tiny, half naked women starts to shimmy and twist her way up two long ceiling to floor fabric expanses. At one point she was hanging upside down from one fabric column by her ankle, nearly thirty feet off the ground. The bar crowd was remarkably quiet while taking in the sights.

The night's main headliner, Lucent Dossier, seems just right for the Absinthe pairing. With an aesthetic that reminded me of the Smashing Pumpkins mid-90s video for "Tonight, Tonight," the performance was full of sexed up, highly stylized fantasy performers. I loved it!

Incandescence is held every other Wednesday. To avoid the steep $20 cover you have to come before 8pm (or buy $15 advance tickets via the Edison's website. There's a small menu if you get hungry, but table reservations are suggested.

Lucent Dossier at The Edison / May 14th / 9pm / 108 West 2nd Street #101 / 213-613-0000

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